In this edition of Entrepreneurial Appetite's Black Book discussions, we feature a conversation with Aria S. Halliday, author of Buy Black: How Black Women Transformed U.S. Pop Culture.
About the author: Aria S. Halliday, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and program in African American and Africana Studies at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Halliday specializes in cultural constructions of black girlhood and womanhood in material, visual, and digital culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. Her interdisciplinary interests include sexuality, Black feminism, and radicalism in Black popular culture in the United States and the Caribbean. She is the editor of The Black Girlhood Studies Collection (Women's Press, 2019) and co-editor of a special issue on hip-hop feminism in the Journal of Hip-Hop Studies (2020). Her articles are featured in Cultural Studies, Departures in Critical Qualitative Research, Girlhood Studies, Palimpsest, and SOULS. Her book, Buy Black: How Black Women Transformed U.S. Pop Culture, is forthcoming from the University of Illinois Press. Dr. Halliday served as co-chair of the Girls' and Girls' Studies Caucus at the National Women's Studies Association 2016-2019; she is currently Chair of the Girls' and Girls' Studies Caucus. She is also co-founder of Digital Black Girls, a digital humanities archive celebrating Black girls' cultural production and innovation.
About the Book: Buy Black examines American Black women's role in Black consumption in the U.S. and worldwide, focusing on their pivotal role in packaging Black feminine identity since the 1960s. Through an exploration of the dolls, princesses, and rags-to-riches stories that represent Black girlhood and womanhood in everything from haircare to Nicki Minaj's hip-hop, Aria S. Halliday spotlights how the products created by Black women have furthered Black women's position as the moral compass and arbiter of Black racial progress.
Far-ranging and bold, Buy Black reveals what attitudes inform a contemporary Black sensibility based on representation and consumerism. It also traces the parameters of Black symbolic power, mapping the sites where intraracial ideals of blackness, womanhood, beauty, play, and sexuality meet and mix in consumer and popular culture.